The existence of the sparrow-sized black and white species of storm petrel was confirmed in February near the coastal community of Puerto Montt, Chile. This is the first new species of storm petrel discovered in 89 years, and the first new species of seabird discovered in 55 years.
Storm-petrels are seabirds in the family Hydrobatidae, part of the order Procellariiformes. These smallest of seabirds feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
Researchers at the University of Chile in Santiago are analyzing collected blood samples and feathers to learn more about the birds, where they breed and if they migrate to wintering grounds elsewhere. This bird has been under everyone’s noses in a popular area for decades.
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